It’s hard to be too critical about a film like Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. A bro-comedy that lets both its male (Zac Efron, Adam Devine) and female (Aubrey Plaza, Anna Kendrick) stars be ‘bros’, it operates very much in the tradition of post-Knocked Up Hollywood comedies. Men-(and-women)-children goof around and do drugs until shit gets real at the end of the second act. What invariably follows is a triumphant conclusion where our immature heroes and heroines learn to care about others and maybe break into song.
Mike and Dave is somewhere in the middle of the contemporary comedy continuum; it’s got a good cast and enough good jokes to keep you entertained, but it lacks any substance. Or any really great jokes. Since joining the Apatow Cinematic Universe in Bad Neighbours, Zac Efron underused (and underdressed). He’s charming as fuck but, guys, can’t you give him one or two of the good jokes?
Maybe that’s just testament to the improvisational, friends-hanging-out-in-tropical-paradise vibe of these films and Efron’s just not great at ad-libs. Still, stronger writing would’ve been appreciated, so you leave the film with something other than a desire to do the Jurassic Park ATV tour in Hawaii.